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ATRI study shows impact of e-commerce on trucking

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From 1999-2017, e-commerce sales increased from less than 1 percent of total U.S. retail sales to more than 9 percent, reflecting a 3,000 percent increase in e-commerce sales. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Transportation Research Institute Wednesday released an analysis of the impacts that emerging e-commerce trends are having on the trucking industry, including the challenges and opportunities that more regionalized retail supply chains and the proliferation of urban “last mile” deliveries have presented.

This research was identified as a top research priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.

The analysis provides background on emerging e-commerce and omni-channel retailing trends, and maps the implications of these trends to trucking operations and the industry’s top 10 issues.

Key findings in ATRI’s report include:

  • From 1999-2017, e-commerce sales increased from less than 1 percent of total U.S. retail sales to more than 9 percent, reflecting a 3,000 percent increase in e-commerce sales.
  • Annual growth of e-commerce has ranged between 13 and 16 percent over the last five years, outpacing the 1 to 5 percent annual growth in traditional retail sales.
  • Retailers are becoming more flexible in how they transact with consumers by decentralizing their distribution/fulfillment networks to bring inventory closer to consumers.
  • There were 2,130 fewer department stores and 385,000 fewer jobs at these stores in 2017 compared to 2015; there were 1,937 more courier services operating and just over 85,000 new employees hired in the sector during this time period.
  • “Last Mile Fulfillment Centers” represented 73 percent of the industrial real estate market in 2017, a 15-percentage point increase from the previous year.
  • Registrations for single-unit trucks increased by 7.8 percent between 2007 and 2016 compared to 4.4 percent growth in combination truck registrations.
  • The number of intra-regional and last-mile truck trips has increased while the average length of haul has declined. Average trip lengths have decreased 37 percent since 2000, while urban vehicle miles traveled have increased for much of this time period.
  • Intrastate and local hauls for e-commerce could serve as a training opportunity for 18-20-year-old drivers, representing a huge new pool of potential interstate CDL drivers.

“ATRI’s research provides a critical roadmap for trucking industry stakeholders to address the challenges and benefits of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing,” said Tom Benusa, CIO of Transport America. “These trends are game-changing, and our industry must adapt quickly to ensure that trucking continues to be the preeminent freight mode.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newsal Safety Council to employers: address employee fatigue immediately

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For the trucking industry, sources vary widely on the percentage of large truck crashes are the result of driver fatigue. On the low end, it’s 13 percent. On the high end, it’s approaching 40 percent. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

ITASCA, Ill. — Newsal Safety Council says according to its own research, 90 percent of America’s employers have been negatively impacted by tired employees.

Forty-three percent of employees admit they may be too tired to function safely at work.

With fatigue becoming an increasingly common workplace hazard, the Newsal Safety Council is calling on all employers to implement comprehensive programs — known as fatigue risk management systems — that can help prevent the roughly 13 percent of workplace injuries attributable to sleep problems.

As for the trucking industry, sources vary widely on the percentage of large truck crashes are the result of driver fatigue.

On the low end, it’s 13 percent. On the high end, it’s approaching 40 percent.

The council has outlined key elements of a fatigue risk management system in its paper .

Another report from the Campbell Institute — the center for EHS excellence at the Newsal Safety Council — details results from a pilot study conducted among world class safety organizations to assess worker fatigue and effective countermeasures. In , the Campbell Institute identifies a persistent gap between how employers and employees view fatigue and makes the case for changing culture to enhance safety.

To emphasize the importance of the issue, the council and the Campbell Institute also are gathering fatigue experts and researchers from around the globe in Seattle for a symposium that will focus on eliminating fatigue-related risks in the workplace.

“In our 24/7 world, too many employees are running on empty,” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager for fatigue initiatives at the Newsal Safety Council. “Employees are an organization’s greatest asset and addressing fatigue in workplaces will help eliminate preventable deaths and injuries.”

Whitcomb said fatigue not only hurts employees’ wellbeing and safety, but it also carries a significant price tag.

Fatigue costs the U.S. economy more than $400 billion annually.

An employer with 1,000 employees can expect to lose more than $1 million each year in missed workdays, lower productivity and increased healthcare due to employee fatigue.

“Even employers with state-of-the-art safety programs feel the negative effects of fatigue,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute “As employers work to eliminate risks, we encourage them to implement fatigue risk management systems and lean on the Council and the Campbell Institute for help.”

Workplace practices and policies that contribute to worker fatigue include working night shifts and overtime, a lack of time off between shifts and inadequate rest areas within the workplace for employees to take breaks.

Whitcomb said strong fatigue risk management systems blend employee education and training with improvements to workplace environments, culture change and data-driven programs.

Additional information about workplace fatigue is available at .

 

 

 

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Wheaton Van Lines acquires Stevens Worldwide Van Lines

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The combination of van line networks will create capacity and growth for agents, drivers and customers, Wheaton officials said. (Courtesy: WHEATON VAN LINES)

INDIANAPOLIS — In a move to expand the Wheaton Van Lines network, Wheaton is acquiring Stevens Worldwide Van Lines. The new partnership will immediately expand the capacity and capabilities of the four brands under the Wheaton group umbrella:

  • Wheaton World Wide Moving
  • Bekins Van Lines
  • Stevens Worldwide Van Lines
  • Clark & Reid

The Stevens family will continue to own and operate Stevens International Forwarding and Focused Logistics. Their three local agencies will continue to be agents of the Stevens Worldwide Van Lines brand in Saginaw, Michigan, as well as Toledo, Ohio, and Cleveland, and will maintain a significant hauling fleet within the new network.

“I think this partnership is a huge opportunity for all parties involved,” said Morrie Stevens Sr., Stevens Van Lines chairman of the board and CEO. “Joining the Wheaton Van Lines network gives all of the drivers and agents in the Stevens network more opportunities for growth. I’m particularly excited for our corporate clients that will gain access to more capacity when they need it the most. I’ve admired the Wheaton network for a long time. Wheaton has proven to be a steady, stable, smart and consistent network that understands how to build upon the success it’s had for the past 74 years.”

Wheaton will continue to operate all four of its brands throughout the United States.

This is Wheaton’s third acquisition since 2012 when it acquired Bekins Van Lines and, a year later, Clark & Reid, making it the fourth largest van line group in the country.

“Stevens and the agents in the Stevens network are a stellar fit for our growing company,” said Mark Kirschner, Wheaton Van Lines CEO. “It’s clear that our philosophies align and that we both see this as an opportunity to bring more to our drivers, agents and customers. I’m excited for our partnership moving forward.”

Wheaton Van Lines is partner to approximately 400 Wheaton, Bekins, Stevens and Clark & Reid agents nationwide.

The United States military is one of the company’s largest customers.

To learn more, visit .

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ACT Research: Freight rates and trucker profits pressured In 2019

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ACT Research’s report indicated that at present the slowdown seems to be more a story of the second-half 2018 order pull-forward and large backlogs, and less about freight cycle and capacity issues. (The Trucker file photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — While overall economic conditions are better balanced than they were a month ago, freight data remain soft, according to ACT Research’s latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report.

“Slower freight growth, an easing of driver supply constraints, the resumption of the long-run freight productivity trend, and strong Class 8 tractor fleet growth will increasingly pressure rates, and by extension, trucker profits in 2019,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT Research’s president and senior analyst. “Regarding Class 8, orders have decelerated sharply over the past several months, with net orders in January reaching 16,089 units, the lowest monthly order intake since October 2016.”

The report indicated that at present the slowdown seems to be more a story of the second-half 2018 order pull-forward and large backlogs, and less about freight cycle and capacity issues.

Regarding the medium duty markets, Vieth said, “January’s Classes 5-7 net orders were a virtual carbon copy of December, at around 23,000 units, and medium duty orders have been a model of consistency the past ten months. However, they are entering a period of tough year-ago comparisons.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

More information can be found at .

 

 

 

 

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